PhD Admissions

All supplemental materials and letters of recommendation must be submitted via the Graduate Application Supplemental Materials Upload Website. See complete instructions on this page.

Who Can Apply

The basic requirement for the PhD program is the completion of an MA in second language studies, applied linguistics, TESOL, or second or foreign language education. We also welcome applicants with graduate degrees in related disciplines such as anthropology, education, modern languages, linguistics, and psychology, although some additional coursework may be needed. A degree in literature will not be suitable preparation for entry, however.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Graduate Faculty member(s) with whom they might wish to work.


Each year, four years of guaranteed funding are offered to the four most qualified applicants to the PhD in SLS program, pending availability of funds. Financial assistance is in the form of a graduate assistantship (GAship) in teaching and/or research, as long as the enrolled student maintains a GPA of 3.5 or higher and takes 6 credits per semester (with the exception of those who have reached the dissertation writing stage, or ABD status). The graduate assistantship is a 0.50 FTE appointment that provides 100% tuition exemption; a stipend; and, after a minimum of three months, health plan benefits. Student fees are not covered.

Applicants who are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS by Graduate Division must meet the minimum score and subtest score requirements for graduate teaching assistants. Applicants who are exempt from having to take the TOEFL or IELTS are also exempt from the minimum score requirements for graduate teaching assistantship consideration (refer to table under How to Apply step 1, Take Standardized Exam).

Additional information regarding support can be found on the Financial Support for PhD Students and Funding pages.

How to Apply

APPLICATION DEADLINES Fall Semester Enrollment
Spring Semester Enrollment
Doctor of Philosophy in Second Language Studies January 1
September 1
Semester begins in August. Semester begins in January.

Click on each of the following steps for detailed instructions. All materials—online application and fee, letters of recommendation, and supplemental materials including score report(s) and transcript(s)—are due by the application deadline.

Document Requirements for Admitted Students

Click on each of the following steps for detailed instructions.


Email or call (808) 956-8374.